In Welsh mythology, Amaethon (Welsh: Amaethon fab Dôn, meaning "of agriculture"), was a son of Dôn and a presumed agricultural deity.
The principal reference to Amaethon appears in the medieval Welsh prose tale Culhwch and Olwen, where he was the only man who could till a certain field, one of the impossible tasks Culhwch had been set before he could win Olwen's hand.
In the obscure early Welsh poem Cad Goddeu, a possible reference is made to Amaethon/Amathaon, but the passage is obscure. One possible interpretation, if the reading is accepted, is that he steals a dog, lapwing and roebuck from Arawn, king of Annwn (the underworld), leading to a battle between Arawn and the Children of Dôn. Gwydion used his magic staff to turn trees into warriors who helped the children of Dôn win.
In one of the triads invented by Iolo Morgannwg, he teaches magic to his brother Gwydion (this is not accepted as a genuine medieval triad by modern scholars).
This theonym may be derived from Proto-Celtic *Ambaxtonos meaning great follower or servant, an augmentative form of ambactos (ultimately from *ambhi-ag-to-). However it could also derive from the Welsh word Ateme ("agriculture").
- Ellis, Peter Berresford, Dictionary of Celtic Mythology(Oxford Paperback Reference), Oxford University Press, (1994): ISBN 0-19-508961-8
- MacKillop, James. Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-19-280120-1.
- Wood, Juliette, The Celts: Life, Myth, and Art, Thorsons Publishers (2002): ISBN 0-00-764059-5
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